Recipe Review: Enchilada Chicken Stew

I’m starting a new job next week, and took a couple weeks off in-between jobs.  The free time has been GLORIOUS.  I binge listened to Balanced Bites and Paleo View podcasts, worked out a lot, hit up the farmers markets during non-peak hours, and of course did some cooking.  I know my life will get considerably busier with my new job, so I was perusing Pinterest last night for some freezable paleo meals and I stumbled upon this Chicken Enchilada Stew from PaleoOMG, which became today’s project and my inaugural blog post!

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Ingredients: Chicken Breasts (recipe says 2 pounds, but I used like 1.5 pounds.  Used the organic free range boneless skinless ones from Trader Joe’s)
Coconut Oil (about 2 tbsp…but seriously, who really measures)
One Yellow Onion (recipe calls for a whole one but I only used half…I don’t like TOO much onion)
One Green pepper
One Jalapeño pepper (yeah I use the pickled ones above vs. fresh ones.  I had a bad experience with a fresh one once, and I don’t like to talk about it.)
Spices: Oregano, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Cumin, Chili Powder (did I mention that I don’t measure? Ain’t nobody got time for that.)
Can of Tomato Sauce (8 oz)
Can of Diced Tomatoes (14 oz – I used the ones with green chiles in them, as it was cheaper than buying two separate cans. Otherwise you’ll need a can (4 oz) of green chiles too)
Cilantro (I put some in the crockpot.  Recipe says to just serve with cilantro and avocado on top, but I really like cilantro so I tried some cooked into the dish)

And I just realized…I totally forgot the garlic!  Udder. Travesty.  It tastes good without it, but I can see how that would have added a little something.  Next time…

The thing I loved most about this recipe is that it is bad-cook-proof.  I.e., it’s EASY.  Really all you need to do is throw everything the crockpot…and bam.

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Step one: Chicken.  I get paranoid about my meat cooking thoroughly, so I turned my crockpot on high and let the raw chicken cook by itself for about an hour-ish (seen above) and then I threw in the rest of the ingredients.  Perhaps this was unnecessary, but who really cares.

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Then, piled it all on!  I put the spices and oil in first before the veggies and sauce.  Per my notes in the ingredients section above, I did reduce the onions, chicken, and spicy things a little bit from what the original recipe calls for, because a) I am cooking for one person and I get sick of stuff, but mostly, b) my crockpot is small.

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I stirred up the ingredients a bit, leaving the chicken on the bottom.  Put on the cover and let cook on high for about 5 more hours on high.

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After 5-6 hours, I used a tongs to pull the chicken out completely.  Figured it would be easiest to fully shred it this way, rather than in the crockpot as the recipe directed.  (And oh, yep, there is my foot.  Guess I should have edited these photos…another note for next time. #BLOGNEWBIE)

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Dumped the shredded chicken back in the crock pot and stirred it all up.  I tasted it and thought it was a tad bland, so I added some more cumin, oregano, and sea salt.  Perhaps if I hadn’t forgotten the garlic…heh heh.

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And now we have dinner!  Glass of wine and a side of broccoli (that didn’t make the picture) and we are all set!  I didn’t top my bowl with the avocado and chopped cilantro this time, but that would be an excellent addition.

So, my overall thoughts on the stew:

It is less tomato-y than I was thinking it would be.  In a good way!  The flavors melded together nicely to create that mexican-eske taste, without those crazy taco seasoning packets full of MSG.  It also doesn’t really taste like an enchilada, or what one used to the american mexican restaurant version of an enchilada would be used to – probably because there is no cheese.  It does have a slight kick to it too, even though I purposefully made mine less spicy too.  I like that it is definitely thick and stew-like (soooo not soup!).

All in all, I enjoyed this recipe!  Kudos PaleoOMG!  I think it will freeze well and I look forward to enjoying it again.

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